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Environmental Factors of Addiction

Environmental Factors of Addiction

Many have wondered how addictions take root.

Is this disease a result of genetics, learned behavior, or something else? Can a person’s environment influence their addiction to drugs or alcohol?Is it caused by something internal or external? While there are no clear-cut answers to these questions, our drug and alcohol treatment center in Chicago is aware of common environmental factors of addiction.

What Is Addiction?

A substance abuse disorder is a condition in which the individual has no control over their substance abuse despite the repercussions. People with addictions are uncontrollably focused on using drugs and alcohol to the point where their daily lives revolve around these substances. Although these individuals may be aware of the harm their drug use or drinking is causing, they are unable to quit. When these disorders become severe, they’re referred to as addictions. Addictions are often the result of chronic drug abuse or binge drinking. The more of these substances a person ingests, the more tolerant they become to their side effects. As a result, they usually begin to take higher doses or drink more alcohol to experience the same high as they felt in their first use.

Most people who develop drug addictions or alcoholism require addiction treatment. At Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago, we offer a variety of rehab programs, including our PHP treatment in Illinois, that help patients recover from the repercussions of addiction and help them transition into an addiction-free life.

6 Common Environmental Factors of Addiction

The role of an environment in addiction is significant. This condition can be influenced by a number of things, but there are several obvious ways an environment influences addiction.

Family & Home Environment

A common environmental factor of addiction is family interaction. Relationships with family members, parenting styles, and interaction with guardians play a major role in mental health issues, including substance abuse disorders. Without realizing it, we develop ways to cope with stress early on in our lives. When these strategies are born out of a need to survive, they can lead to self-destructive behaviors. These coping strategies or negative behavioral patterns can be triggered by environmental factors that remind the person of the factors that contributed to their stress or trauma.

Friendships & Social Interactions

When a person frequently surrounds themselves with people who engage in substance abuse, it can be difficult for them to abstain from behaving the same way. It’s normal to want to fit in and feel a sense of belonging among our friends. We want to be accepted by the people we revere the most. This desire to fit in can cause us to take up certain behaviors, despite how harmful they may be. This desire to be connected to like-minded people is often a driving force of drug addiction and alcoholism. The habits and behaviors of friends in a group will eventually affect other members of the group as a result of peer pressure. Individuals with addictions who are constantly surrounded by the temptation to use drugs or to drink can recover with the help of our residential treatment in Illinois.

Social Media & Online Interactions

While social media promotes connection and social interaction between people no matter where they’re located, it can also influence addiction. Individuals who are struggling emotionally may feel socially isolated or may experience a drop in self-esteem when they see others online who appear to be happy, are physically attractive, and seem to be enjoying their lives. People who are vulnerable to mental health problems are often more affected by social media and other online posts. While many influencers and celebrities are being more open about their struggles and imperfections on social media, this is a difficult trend to fight considering the continuous advancements in technology.

Unrealistic Portrayals of Real Life in Media

Media, in general, is also another major environmental influence of addiction. Our behaviors are affected by what we see in TV shows and movies, the video games we play, and the music we listen to. Countless movies and TV shows feature unrealistic portrayals of substance abuse, relationships, violence, sex, and more that can encourage unhealthy behaviors based on falsehoods. These displays often cross the line between behavior and glorification. While we should avoid demonizing these portrayals, we must also be mindful of the things we watch and listen to.

Culture & Religion

Culture and religion are common triggers of addiction. Where you grow up, your religious beliefs, religious traditions, and religious practices can all influence substance abuse. Gender differences in drug use and drinking also fluctuate depending on your culture and beliefs. For example, in some cultures, male drinking is normal, while female drinking is unacceptable. Any cultural norm or religious belief that is widely believed can sway behavior, including substance abuse.

Locations Associated With Your Addiction

How your environment affects addiction is also linked to learned or frequent environments in your own life. These refer to places that you frequent often enough that they trigger addiction cravings. From going to the same bar after work to sitting on the same bench in the park alone, these behaviors can be conditioned to certain habits that can be difficult to break. These triggers occur more often when these places are also associated with drugs or alcohol. Our addiction therapies in Chicago focus on these types of behavioral patterns to help the individual break these harmful habits.

The long-term effects of alcoholism and drug abuse can be detrimental. While the idea of going to rehab may be overwhelming, it’s not as scary as the idea of what could happen if you don’t.

If you have an addiction, do not wait a moment longer to get help. Call Banyan Chicago now at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our levels of care.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Environmental Factors of Addiction
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